Modify PDFs page by page

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Leonid Yastremskiy, 123RF

Leonid Yastremskiy, 123RF


PDF documents are widespread. The format, which is intended mainly for viewing and printing, can nonetheless also be edited with Linux and PDF-Shuffler.

The PDF format has forced its way into being the platform-independent display format for clean-looking documents. Yet the 20-year-old file format also has a serious disadvantage: It's primarily a viewing and printout format and is not very useful for editing.

That means conventional editing programs have a difficult time, for example, extracting parts of the many magazines that exist in PDF format on the Internet to archive them. Even combining PDF files is a chore.

One remedy is the little Linux tool called PDF-Shuffler, which allows you to adapt PDF documents to your needs.


PDF-Shuffler now exists in the repositories of most of the larger distributions, but if your distribution still doesn't have it, you can get the source code online [1]. After installation via the Software Center, you'll find the program by typing PDF in Ubuntu's HUD. The software requires few resources and works quickly, even with its graphical interface.


After starting PDF-Shuffler, you get a blank window. All you have at the top is a small horizontal menu bar and buttons underneath it. Using the + button or the File | Add menu, you open a dialog where you can select the PDF document to work on. After bringing the document into the program window, the application generates scaled-down thumbnails of each page and displays them as a list (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The thumbnail view gives you the bigger picture.

If the thumbnails are too small for you to identify the page content or you don't get enough pages on the screen, you can use View | Zoom in or View | Zoom out . To get this to work even faster, simply click on the + or - icons in the button bar.

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